September 19, 2012

 

photo credit: earthtimes.org

Although it may be too soon to say BPA  (Bisphenol A) may add pounds to kids’ weight the role that environmental factors may contribute to childhood obesity should be addressed as it is in this new study.  The chemical BPA can act like estrogen in the body, and studies of animals show that large doses can affect the brain and sexual development. The built environment impacts the health of a community (sidewalks, bike lanes, playgrounds and green space) and the daily exposure to toxins (canned food is a source of BPA) needs to be further investigated to rule out its role in changing metabolism and contributing to obesity.

Although it’s still hard to make clear conclusions, we need more research in the earlier ages of children’s health (in utero) to see if BPA impacts childhood obesity. This study suggests that a third component in addition to calories and exercise should be considered.

The FDA banned BPA (Bisphenol A) from sippy cups and baby bottles this summer but rejected a call by environmental groups to remove BPA from all products that come in contact with food, saying the evidence of harm just wasn’t there.

Is this where the precautionary principle should be applied? Consumers take note – there are companies that have removed BPA from their cans voluntarily.  The power of the purse is a political action.